TV units getting bigger in 2021: Will cinema survive?

By Leroy Cleveland, Polls and Trends - January 15, 2021

With CES 2021 ending, one big trend is evident – TVs are getting larger.

Remember when a 60-inch TV was HUGE?

Well, just when you thought they couldn’t get any bigger, TV makers will introduce more big-screen options this year.

Fact: TVs 60-inches and larger accounted for at least 15 percent of all TV sales from 2019 to 2020.

Samsung will showcase a micro-LED TV lineup with 88-, 99-, and 110-inch models, while LG’s Z1 OLED starts at 77 inches and also comes in an 88-inch variant.

Bravia X90J, by Sony, ranges from 55 inches to a whooping 100 inches while TCL will stock three 85-inch models.

While TVs have been trending larger each year for the last several years due to the advent of the Smart Home, the pandemic seems to have kicked things into a higher gear faster.

More people are staying home these days and, consequentially, are more reliant on their entertainment centers than ever before.

What’s in store for the future?

Perhaps it depends on a few factors with the most important being: When COVID-19 is behind us, how will the new habits we acquired during the pandemic be impacted?

Will we ever shake hands again, or have the fist pump and elbow bump replaced old-fashioned handshakes for good?

In the same vein, will home entertainment centers with massive TV screens ultimately supplant movie theatres?

Of the shopping malls that were operating on January 1, 2020, we expect 30 percent to fold by the end of 2021.  So, obviously, that’s a bad sign for theatres as many, if not most, are housed in malls.

A December 4, 2020 article published on CBSMarketwatch.com, Will cinema survive the Coronavirus pandemic, suggests cinemas will endure after the coronavirus pandemic lifts because we “have an emotional and sentimental attachment” to the movie theatre experience.

However, there will be casualties if they’re not already.

“Cinemas are facing a ‘Mad Max’–style all-out war that is inflicting on them a dangerously high level of financial pain,” said Eric Schiffer, chief executive and chairman of Patriarch Organization and Reputation Management Consultants.

The 3-punch combination of 1) even larger, theater-like TVs set to hit the market in 2021 along with 2) entertainment services such as Red Box, HBO Max, and the surging Netflix and 3) the popularity of direct-to-consumer movies releases will undoubtedly pose challenges for the cinema industry when things get back to normal.

“Cinema has taken a big hit this year, and we’re not forecasting revenues to recover to pre-pandemic levels until post-2024,” PwC principal CJ Bangah told MarketWatch in late 2020.

“The big theater experience, early access to blockbuster films and nostalgia have all played a role in getting us into seats. But that doesn’t mean cinema won’t face a new level of competition [from] in-home entertainment options, Bangah added.

“Innovations such as AR and VR plus the strong performance of some movies released direct-to-consumer have challenged common sentiments around how and when we want to engage with cinema content.”

Regardless of what happens, big-screen TVs will likely be trendy for several years to come.

Tags: entertainment center, tvs